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How to Deal with Will Contests (and avoid a family dispute)?

probate lawyer

Unfortunately, one of the things that you may have to do after a loved one has passed away is to hire a probate lawyer. This is because when the inheritance of a property or fortune comes into play, people tend to bring the worst out of them, thus sacrificing the well-being of the entire family.

One too many times we’ve seen popular families in the media being torn apart by one individual who wanted more or thought that they weren’t left enough from several properties or a fortune.

In such cases, they will most likely contest a will and make the lives of the other family members a living hell. In most situations, brothers will turn their backs to and start fighting with each other.



Will Contests

Will contests happen when family members don’t get along. They are rare, but they do happen – and when they do, you should contact a probate lawyer as soon as possible.

With a bit of research, you’ll find out that probate lawsuits not only tear families apart – as mentioned above – but also drain a lot of money from the fortune or estate that the family is fighting over.

Therefore, a lawyer will be able to save you an estate, for example, as well as help you avoid a court battle with your family.



The Probate Process

If the deceased person lived in a state that has adopted a set of laws known as the Uniform Probate Code, the whole probate process should be very simple and straightforward.

In the states that have adopted the Uniform Probate Code, such processes/trials require minimal court supervision only.

There are also some states that have simplified their procedures in terms of the probate process, without having adopted the aforementioned laws. However, you do have to consult your lawyer and make sure that a trial will be simple before entering a long-drawn and expensive case.



How to Deal with a Will Contest?

If someone in your family shows signs of contesting a will, it is important that you try to solve the solution between the family members. Of course, you may rely on the counsel of a lawyer, but they don’t have to know that.


Time is of the Essence

You should do so because a will contest is a matter of litigation. In short, there is a period in which the injured person must file a claim. If you talk with the family members and try to lengthen the process of solving things on your own, those who want to contest a will may miss the window required to file their claim.


Family Settlement Agreement

If your case happens to reach a court, then the latter will encourage your family to solve their disputes and, thus, avoid bringing family matters into court.

This type of settlement covers any matter in controversy, such as which available will is valid, as well as the terms used to interpret a will. This is considered one of the most powerful tools when it comes to dealing with will contests.



The Bottom Line

When it comes to dealing with a will, you must prepare for two particular situations. Namely, you must get ready for a court trial or for a family settlement agreement. However, keep in mind that both roads can be quite long and, depending on the choices of the family, very expensive.

In this respect, one of the easiest ways to deal with a dispute is to solve the issue within the family and make everyone happy – at least – with the results.

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